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Details for Patent: 4,088,979

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Details for Patent: 4,088,979

Title: Underwater imaging system
Abstract:Acoustic imaging system wherein signals from a target of interest impinge upon a set of receiving transducers. The transducer signals are processed and form the input signals to a transparent delay line through which is projected coherent light from a laser. Suitable optics and detectors are positioned relative to the projected laser beam so as to produce an output signal that is applied to a CRT to display a range profile or contour map of the target area.
Inventor(s): Jones; Charles H. (Pasadena, MD), Gottlieb; Milton (Churchill Boro., PA)
Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp. (Pittsburgh, PA)
Filing Date:Sep 14, 1976
Application Number:05/723,256
Claims:1. An electro-opto-acoustic imaging system comprising:

acoustic means including a plurality of transducers each operable to provide an output signal indicative of acoustic energy from a target area to be viewed;

an opto-acoustic delay line system;

means for converting said signals into a phase hologram which propagates along said opto-acoustic delay line; and

means for converting said phase hologram into a visual display of said target area.

2. An underwater imaging system comprising:

means for projecting acoustic energy toward a target area of interest;

a plurality of acoustic receiver transducers each operable to provide an output signal in response to reflected acoustic energy from said area;

a source of a reference signal;

means for combining said output signals with said reference signal to provide a set of output signals;

means for sampling said output signals in sequence to form a composite signal;

a source of coherent light;

opto-acoustic delay line means transparent to said light;

a source of carrier signal;

means for modulating said carrier signal with said composite signal;

means for injecting said modulated signal into said delay line means;

means for projecting said light through said delay line means;

utilization means positioned to intercept said light projected through said delay line means.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein means are provided to project a pulse of acoustic energy toward a target area of interest.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the plurality of receiver transducers consists of a single row of transducer elements, and in which a single opto-acoustic delay line is employed to obtain a line image at said utilization means.

5. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein the plurality of receiver transducers consist of a set of m rows and n columns of transducer elements, and in which a set of m parallel delay lines are provided so that a two dimensional image is formed at the said utilization means.

6. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said means for combining said output signals with a reference signal includes a plurality of phase sensitive detector units.

7. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said means for combining said output signals with said reference signal includes a plurality of adder circuits, and further includes a plurality of AM detectors for receiving the outputs of said adder circuits.

8. Apparatus according to claim 6 which further includes a plurality of phase shift units to provide predetermined phase shifts to said reference signal.

9. Apparatus according to claim 7 which further includes a plurality of phase shift units to provide a set of predetermined phase shifts of said reference signal.

10. Apparatus according to claim 2 which includes means for storing and sampling said output signals to define predetermined range resolution increments.

11. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which said utilization means comprises a TV camera tube.

12. Apparatus accordng to claim 2 wherein said utilization means includes:

detector means;

a focusing lens positioned between said delay line means and said detector means;

said detector means being operable to provide an output signal in response to the intensity of said light projected through said delay line means; and said focusing lens; and

display means responsive to the output signal of said detector means for providing a visual indication of said target area.

13. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein said display means is a CRT.

14. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein said visual indication is a profile display.

15. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein said visual indication is a contour display.

16. Apparatus according to claim 15 which includes means for displaying said contours in color with adjacent contour range increments being displayed in different colors.

17. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein

said system is carried by a vehicle adapted for movement over said target area; and

said projection of acoustic energy is in repetitive transmission cycles.

18. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said acoustic receiver transducers are arranged in a linear array.

19. Apparatus according to claim 12 wherein said detector means includes a linear array of photodiodes.

20. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said acoustic receiver transducers are arranged in a plurality of n rows and a plurality of m columns.

21. Apparatus according to claim 20 wherein said delay line means is of a size to accommodate the simultaneous parallel injection of m signals.

22. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein each receiver transducer has an associated amplifier in which the gain is made a function of the distance from the center of the transducer array, the amplifier associated with the center transducer of the array having the highest gain and those associated with the outer transducer having the lowest gain.
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